Essay: Ancient and Medieval History – Augustus Caesar/Gaius Octavian: The Creator

Gaius Octavius Thurinus possessed all the talents a good emperor had. He was the first legit Emperor to ever take the throne and keep peace in the Roman Empire for 40 consecutive years. He had a great admire for his uncle ‘Julius Caesar’ where he then took his place.
‘Gaius Octavian was conceived on September 23, 63 B.C in Valletri Italy. He was born from a wealthy equestrian family.’ (Everitt). He is recalled and still ought to be recognized as the first most noteworthy emperor of Rome. Augustus was an handsome men with some physical problems. ‘He was weak and of short stature. His body was covered in spots and he suffered from bad teeth’ ( Octavius at a young age went with his uncle Caesar on his military journey to Spain to defeat and destroy Pompey’s sons, threats for Rome, who were trying to carry on their father’s opposition to Caesar (Battle of Munda), but Octavian unfortunately due to a health problem needed to stop for a couple of days and not follow Caesar all the way.
While Octavian went to Albania to complete his military training, he got the news of the assassination of his uncle Julius Caesar. ‘Octavian surged back to Rome and found that Caesar’s
will made him Caesar’s adopted son and heir to his fortune’ ( He accepted it while he was at the age of 18 without any knowledge nor experience on what to do. ‘Though when he
arrived Octavian found power in the hands of Mark Antony and Aemilius Lepidus. They were urging compromise and amnesty. But Octavian refused to accept this attitude. With his determined stand he soon succeeded in winning over many of Caesar’s supporters, including some of the legions.’ ( Octavian struggled a lot to get the full power since Antony was there controlling the will and funds of Caesar. Caesar’s will asked for games to entertain the citizens. These types of things required legacies, but Mark Antony controlled all of Caesar’s funds and declined to allow Octavius access to those funds. Octavian borrowed funds to follow Caesar’s will and his endeavors earned open backing for Octavius. His efforts to attain to Caesar’s will gains him considerable backing among the troops of Caesar. Antony was going against the will of the Senate, and the Senate, that was led by Circero, called on Octavius for backing against Antony. The Senate makes Octavian a representative despite the fact that he is unreasonably youthful to qualify. Octavian’s troops joined with the Senate’s troops forming a big army. The combined forces between Octavian and the Senate drove Antony out of Italy and into Gaul. In the battle with Antony’s forces the two elected diplomats of Rome were killed. ‘Octavius’s troops demanded that the Senate would award the title of Consul on Octavius. Octavius was officially recognized as the nephew of Julius Caesar.'( After being elected by the Senate he then took the name Gaius Julius Caesar.
Augustus and Antony agreed on a sharing of power. Along with Lepidus who was the ‘Pontifex Maximus’,(a member of the principal college of priests) they are nominated by the Senate as a Triumvirate (a group of people where power that is divided into three people) with
unlimited powers for five years. Augustus, Antony and Lepidus came to a conclusion in eliminating those Senators and members of the Roman aristocracy whom they considered a risk
to public order. Altogether two thousand lesser level aristocrats and 300 senators were executed. Cicero, a supporter of Octavian, was nominated for execution by Antony.
Antony and Augustus both managed a military expedition to the East to defeat Brutus and Cassius, the two conspirators that killed Caesar. In the two battles at Philippi(a city where the battle was held) the troops of Brutus and Cassius were defeated so Brutus and Cassius committed suicide. The Triumvirate then divided up the Roman Empire. Antony got the East and Gaul. Lepidus got Africa and Augustus got the West except for Italy which was under control of all three.
In Italy Augustus came face to face with a local war where he intended to allow land for arrangement to the soldiers of his army. His forces defeated the opposition at the city known as Perugia (in this early times). The island of Sicily was under control of Pompey’s son, Sextus Pompeius. He gave him command of the shipping lanes. Augustus tried to prevent a conflict with Sextus by getting into a marriage with Scribonia, one of Sextus relatives. The plan to get her failed. After a couple of days the Player left her but she gave birth to his daughter Julia. The alliance of Augustus and Antony was tighter now that Antony married Octavia, the sister of Augustus. This political marriage also did not last long. Antony was still in love of Cleopatra, the queen of Egypt, the old wife of the actual Julius Caesar.
Antony divorced Octavia, Octavian’s sister. ‘Augustus revealed that Antony’s will called for the granting of Roman territory in the East to the children of Cleopatra.’ ( Antony decided to bring his forces to the western side of Greece. Augustus sent a military expedition
under Agrippa’s command, one of the best troop leaders and his best friend from childhood, to test Antony’s command of Greece. Augustus later joined Agrippa, and their fleet hold down Antony and Cleopatra’s fleet in the Gulf of Ambracia. A naval battle followed at Actium in
which Cleopatra, fearing to get captured, pulled her ships out of the battle and went back to Egypt ensuring the defeat of Antony’s forces. Anthony and his ships followed Cleopatra to Egypt. Later Augustus invades Egypt where Antony commits suicide but Cleopatra and Julius Caesar’s son is sent away hiding in the red sea, but Augustus’ army is able to track him down and kill him. After defeating Anthony’s army, Augustus then remained with full power of Rome.
Augustus was the first ‘to end 100 years of civil war and achieved over 40 years of internal peace and prosperity.’ ( He was the first Emperor to ever close the doors of the temple of Janus. These doors were to keep open in times of war and closed in times of peace. ‘According to a historical writer Livy, these doors have been closed only once before in Roman history.’ (
He realized that his empire was decreasing in population so he invented a law called: ‘The Julian Law’ or in latin ‘lex Julia de maritandis ordinibus’ that would encourage his population to get married and have children. another law was established by him that would establish adultery as a crime. This law was later modified by ‘lex Papia Poppaea’ because ‘Fathers were permitted to kill daughters and their partners in adultery. Husbands could kill the partners under certain circumstances and were required to divorce adulterous wives. Augustus himself was obliged to invoke the law against his own daughter, Julia, and relegated her to the island of Pandateria.’ (
‘During his final years Augustus withdrew more and more from public life. Intending to travel with Tiberius to Capri, and then on to Beneventum, he left Rome for the last time in AD
14.'( He felt sick on the journey to Capri and, after four days resting in Capri, when they were crossing back to Rome Augustus died. ‘He died at Nola on 19 August AD 14, only one month away of his 76th birthday.'( The body then was taken to Rome and the ashes were placed in his Museum.
Augustus’ ruling period of time was called the ‘Pax Romana’. He granted rome for 40 years absolute peace without any wars and battles. He was the first one to end 100 years of civil war and the only one to close the doors of peace. The Pax Romana is also referred as ‘The Augustian Age’.
In conclusion ‘The Creator’ accomplished a lot of things for his empire and still ought to be recognized as the first most noteworthy emperor of Rome. He drove Rome to succeed and peace. He brought happiness to his citizens, and increased their population. The things the Great Augustus accomplished are unique and no other emperor was able to accomplish what he did. His importance to the Roman history his fatal that we still are learning what he did still today. The eighth month of the Gregorian calendar bears his name. He was such an impact to the world that he also appeared in the bible’ Luke connects the birth of Christ with the first Emperor of the ancient Roman Empire. This great ruler played an important part in the birth of Christ. Had it not been for him, one of the prophecies about Christ may have failed. Yet we seldom hear anything about the part Augustus had in the Lord’s birth., in the passage about Jesus.’ ( The passage from the bible says, “And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.”(Bible) By this Augustus was even a influence for the Bible which makes him really important.

Works Cited
AUGUSTUS CAESAR’S PART IN CHRIST’S BIRTH. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2015. <>.
Bunson, Matthew. Encyclopedia of the Roman Empire. USA: n.p., 1994. Print.
Caesar Augustus. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2015. <>.
The Classical Weekly 32.4 (oct 31 1938). Print.
Everitt, Anthony. The Life of Rome’s First Emperor Augustus. London: Random, 2006. Print.
Octavian – Augustus. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2015. <>.
PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2015. <>.
The Rise of Octavianus, the First Roman Emperor. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2015. <>.
The Timeline of the Life of Octavian, Caesar Augustus. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <>.
WLGR. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2015. <>.

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